Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra has said he’ll never allow parents of an athlete to stay at the Games Village unless they are actively involved like a coach or a trainer.
Last year at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast (Australia), reports had emerged that star shuttler Saina Nehwal has threatened to pull out after her father was denied entry to the Games Village.
“You want to take parents along with you, take them but make sure they stay in a hotel. I do not oppose that. As far as national duty is concerned, ones who are involved with you like the coach, trainer, they can stay with you,” Batra told ANI. “I am against parents staying with a player in the Games Village. You will never find me supporting it. Until they are known to be actively involved, I will never allow it.”
Batra said if the situation of a player threatening to withdraw from an event arises again, he will announce the guilty party’s name on TV. “Last time we were threatened as well, that the players won’t represent the country. The village is for coaches, parents can go, but they need to stay outside. They are allowed to stay at the village, for me all the athletes are the same. If I ever get threatened by the players, I will appear on the national television next day and say it out loud that I am being told that the player is not willing to represent India because of their parents not being allowed to stay at the Games Village,” he said.
He also expressed his frustrations at the repeated claims of misuse of funds by sports federations being made without solid proof. “Sports code has the purpose of good governance, I do not know where the problem is. It is a misconception that the funds are being misused, I have always cleared this we have not received any money from SAI, so how will we misuse this? Federation tries very hard to get sponsorships, and we have to make the most out of them,” Batra said.
He continued, “I do not get the criticism of the funds being misused. This is very unfortunate, we are working out of passion and want to ensure the growth of the sport. You tell us where the fault is, just do not shout without any evidence.”